I'm new to weight training where do I begin

Are you just getting into weight training and not sure where to start?

In this article, our personal trainer Christopher will explain how to get started with weight training as a beginner.


Have you been thinking about weight training for a while, but don't know where to start? In this article, you'll find the best tips for starting to weight train as a beginner.


If any of the following statements ring true for you, then the rest of this article is just what you need:

✔    You want to be different from other beginners.

✔    You want to do effective workouts to achieve fast results.

✔    You want to participate in sport sensibly and without injury.

In 90% of cases, a beginner has energy to spare before starting: in their determination to make some changes and focus on a goal, they sign up to the gym and start training by copying others, doing what the people around them advise them, or watching videos on YouTube of people who already have several years of weight-training experience. They try to do their best without really understanding the principles or knowing how, what or how much to do.

After several weeks, they're still confused about the effectiveness of what they're doing. They've seen some results, but not as many as they'd imagined.

If you don't want to have this experience, then follow these tips and I guarantee that you'll get your weight training off to the right start!


Step 1

Establish a routine of going to the gym regularly or training at home.

Before even talking about the number of reps or exercises, it's important to commit to a weekly routine.
Planning your sessions and going to the gym 3 to 4 times a week is a great start. And doing this for 2 to 3 months is already a big achievement!


Step 2

Learn the basic multi-joint movements that are the mainstays of weight training: squat patterns, hip extensions, push patterns, pull patterns.

I'd recommend learning these movements, but not training on them (training in this case means using heavy weights).
You should master these movements, which are the basic movements for any weight training programme, before starting to use the weights themselves.It's a key step. You need to build a solid foundation before moving on to step n°3.
If you don't perform these basic movements well, you'll get into bad habits and risk injuring yourself. To avoid this, you need to be able to perform a squat correctly, a hip extension properly, a push to the front and above yourself with the right muscle tension, and a pull towards yourself and downwards without injuring yourself.
I would recommend the 12-week programme in the Decathlon My Coach app, which also happens to be free! This programme is based on the basic movements and will give you all the advice you need to perform these moves perfectly and see real progress as the weeks go by.


Step 3

Take things up a gear

Once you've mastered these movements, you can move on to using heavier weights.

But make sure you pay attention to your technique. Good technique guarantees optimal muscle use for each movement, ensuring you avoid injury and get the most out of your workout.

Jot down your performance in a notebook or on your phone to see your progress.


Step 4

Perform the correct breathing cycle for each movement

Breathing plays an essential role in how you perform. Good breathing is a sign of the right level of tension in your core, which considerably improves your strength on a daily basis and reduces the risk of injury during your workouts.

For each weight training movement, it's vital to contract your pelvic floor (to help, think of the muscles you squeeze to hold in a wee).

Breathe out during the effort phase of the movement (e.g. pushing = squat, press-ups, overhead press / pulling = pulldown, deadlifts, biceps curl).

Breathe in when muscle tension is less difficult to hold.


Step 5

Integrate single-joint movements into the end of your workout

The basic exercises described above are the most demanding. These motions are multi-joint movements. Most of your body is involved when you execute these movements. For a more advanced workout, you can include single-joint movements, such as biceps curls, triceps kickbacks and lateral/front raises, at the end of your session.

You'll then have the perfect combination for effective, smart workouts.


So now you know how to get started with weight training. If you have any questions about this article or a subject that interests you, please leave a comment and I'll get back to you as soon as I can!  Happy exercising!



Sports coach

Having graduated in 2013 with a Masters in Physical and Mental Training with Nutrition, I specialise in personal coaching and in the change process.


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